The Lobero Theater has defied public opinion and removed both olive trees in its foreground without any public forum. No indication was given that the tree was to be immediately removed. An arborist hired by the Lobero Theater determined that the tree was “diseased,” but that just gave it character. What a venerable symbol of striving to overcome adversity. That tree was the largest olive tree that I have ever seen. When I read your article regarding its questionable future, I wrote the Lobero Foundation director to object to its removal. To me, it represented vitality in the face of adversity. To me, removal of the tree is a symbol of what is happening to Santa Barbara. Autocrats with selfish interests are coming to control the fabric of our city, and are unilaterally changing it for their own biased perspective. I hope the Lobero is happy with its venue to sell more wine during events. I am very sad to see the tree go; I did not even get to say good-bye.
This letter was amended on 7/8/13 to add the author's name, which we inadvertently omitted.