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Trees stripped down in Venice

Los Angeles Unified School teacher Michael Zeno was sickened when he pulled into his regular shopping area at Lincoln Boulevard and Rose Avenue in Venice, only to find a beautiful stand of longtime trees slashed to the ground.

This latest bit of urban renewal is thanks to "density hawks" in Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's Administration who approved a Whole Foods on the site, which was once a Big Lots store. Protecting the city's bits of green - including trees that took 40 years to get that shady and lush - is not on Villaraigosa's construction-crane agenda, as we've seen from his failed promise to plant one million trees.

"Those bastards cut down 15 trees that were there in the parking lot, to make way for the new and improved parking lot," says Zeno. "Those trees added so much to the traffic and asphalt nightmare that is that intersection. In these environmentally challenging times, this is the last thing we need to be doing."

He says he called the Whole Foods company and was told by a spokeswoman that they'd get back to him about how, and why, the valued trees had to be destroyed for a few more parking spots. Honestly, Whole Foods, what's the point?