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Unsanctioned pruning at Oak Cliff park drew complaints, but 67-year-old's arrest makes neighbors une

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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-20-10 11:35 AM
Original message
Unsanctioned pruning at Oak Cliff park drew complaints, but 67-year-old's arrest makes neighbors une
Unsanctioned pruning at Oak Cliff park drew complaints, but 67-year-old's arrest makes neighbors uneasy


After she was patted down and handcuffed, Sandra McFeeley was hauled from her Oak Cliff home to jail.

"I met some neat people," she said of her nine hours at Lew Sterrett Justice Center. "I'd never been in a perp walk before. It was cool."

What's not so cool, the 67-year-old attorney said, was being accused of felony criminal mischief for thinning thickets in a city park near her home.

"She was going out to this greenbelt area and trimming it as she saw fit," said Joe Ries, a city park maintenance manager. "We asked her to stop," he said, because she didn't have a work agreement with the city.

Finally, Dallas police moved in, an act that has troubled some residents of the Wynnewood North neighborhood.

"It's hard enough to keep that neighborhood nice without having the police haul people off for felonious gardening," said Mary Ann Jenkins.

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/042010dnmetmcfeeley.3b35092.html
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TwilightGardener Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-20-10 11:46 AM
Response to Original message
1. Well, if the city and residents want the area to be simply a tangle of
overgrown brush and vines, I guess that's that. I sympathize with the lady, I'd have to fight the urge to trim and prune, too.
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NoNothing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-20-10 11:56 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. Thing is it sounds like the neighborhood supported her
This has come up a few times before, where there is some public property being neglected, but anyone who tries to do anything is cracked down upon. My understanding is that a lot of it stems from union politics - the union doesn't want people doing for free what union workers have bargained for the right to do, even if that means it ends up not getting done.
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WolverineDG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-20-10 12:03 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. didn't sound like it to me
sounded more like they wanted her to stop pruning, & didn't want her to be arrested...one even called out to her & told her to stop it while she was being interviewed for the story.

dg
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TwilightGardener Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-20-10 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. Some of them supported her, some of them didn't. The lady who told her to stop
sounds like a busybody with nothing better to do. The city overreacted by having her arrested.
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WolverineDG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-20-10 12:40 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. A "busy body with nothing better to do"
:eyes:

So you're okay with someone going into a protected area, ignoring signs that say pruning/weeding is prohibited. What's your stance on drilling in ANWAR, then?

Because, yes, they are the same thing.

dg
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TwilightGardener Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-20-10 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. I can understand the impulse to want to keep a nearby park area
from looking overgrown and neglected (it IS a park--it is referred to as a park--only the neighbors who didn't like her efforts are calling it "wild"). She removed dead tree limbs and trash, too. She should have stopped when the parks dept. told her to stop, but her efforts at beautification, misguided or not, are in no way comparable to drilling for oil in a wildlife refuge--I mean, WTF?
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frylock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-20-10 01:22 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. yellowstone is also a park..
just sayin.
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TwilightGardener Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-20-10 01:38 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. Right--but there is a difference between residential areas
and national parks. Just sayin. I'm not saying this lady was right to do what she did, just that I understand the impulse to not want the place where you live and walk your dogs to be choked with kudzu and brush and dead limbs. Things get overgrown in a hurry in the South.
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frylock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-20-10 02:38 PM
Response to Reply #18
21. some horseback riders mangaged to get the tunnel trails closed due to unauthorized pruning..
the mountain bike riders and the horseback riders have been at odds forever around here at los penasquitos, but some dumbass horse person had to take it upon themselves to prune back some of the tunnels so they could fit their horses in them. now nobody is able to use them. i guess i'm a little sensitive when it comes to these matters.
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WolverineDG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-20-10 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #16
20. It's not just a park, it's a green belt
and there were signs posted stating that what she was doing was illegal.

dg
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TexasObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-20-10 11:50 AM
Response to Original message
2. felonious gardening
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snooper2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-20-10 11:54 AM
Response to Original message
3. The part of the story that isn't mentioned above....
Edited on Tue Apr-20-10 11:55 AM by snooper2
"There, about four miles from downtown, several yards have signs that urge: Protect the Greenbelt...Keep It Wild...It's the law!

The signs cite Section 32-3 of the city code, which states: "It shall be unlawful for any person to cut, break, deface or in any way injure the trees, shrubs, plants, grass, turf, fountains, seats, fences, structures, improvements, ornaments or monuments or property, within or upon any of the public parks."

Standing in the greenbelt with her dogs Rascal and Samantha, McFeeley pointed out a cluster of brownish-gray briars. "It's things like this hanging down," she said. "It looks crappy, and I'm not interested in walking into a face full of this when I go in after my dogs."

She grabbed a piece of briar to demonstrate her work. Seconds later, Suzanne O'Brien called out from across the street: "You can't do that."

Asked why not, she said, "It's a protected, wild area." And briars, she said, are "part of the ecosystem. We have all kinds of wild creatures living here."


On Edit, I don't think anything will happen to this old lady. She shouldn't have been hauled in but at least she had fun with it :P
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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-20-10 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. So in other words...
the woman doing the pruning was an anal retentive ass.

She deserves a fine, not jail. But then again if she acted like an ass to the police (don't know)then jail it is.
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WolverineDG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-20-10 12:01 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. Even the park service said they didn't want her arrested
they just wanted her to stop cutting down the vegetation in the green belt.

dg
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WolverineDG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-20-10 11:59 AM
Response to Reply #3
7. Funny how that got left out of the OP's story
that green belt is there for a reason.

dg
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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-20-10 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. I can only quote so much here, which is why there is a link.... (nt)
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-20-10 12:25 PM
Response to Reply #3
14. Sounds like she deserved to be arrested.
Edited on Tue Apr-20-10 12:26 PM by Xithras
You can't just start hacking away at a wildlife greenbelt because you don't like "the way it looks". If it bothers you, don't buy a home near a greenbelt!
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Liberal_in_LA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-20-10 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #3
22. Seems that she was very defiant of the law
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Cronus Protagonist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-20-10 11:56 AM
Response to Original message
4. I hope she demands a jury trial
I don't think she need worry.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-20-10 12:00 PM
Response to Original message
8. People seem to mistake natural order for disorder all the time. n/t
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EC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-20-10 12:09 PM
Response to Original message
13. I'm sure it was more about liability problems
This happened here where a man downed a little tree because it blocked his view of the lake, but the tree was on park property. The city cited insurance liability if he or anyone else got hurt would have created many problems.
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tammywammy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-20-10 01:43 PM
Response to Original message
19. It's not like they wanted to arrest her
They told her to stop her "pruning." It's a protected area. Also, she metions going in after her dogs, is she walking her dogs without a leash?
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