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Chicago is a leader in planting trees for the environment, but ComEd crews ruin them

Untrained ComEd crews have butchered mature trees so badly that they reduce their lives to less than five years when those trees could have flourished for 20.

In this 2012 file photo, a ComEd crew member works to restore power after a strong thunderstorm knocked down large trees and damaged power lines.
In this 2012 file photo, a ComEd crew member works to restore power after a strong thunderstorm knocked down large trees and damaged power lines.
Sun-Times Media

The Sun-Times editorial California’s wildfires and Chicago’s derecho reveal cascading damage of climate change is spot on!

We should not feel helpless, though, because we can move Illinois in the right direction during the current clear climate change crisis. Chicago has been a leader in reducing carbon emissions by planting some 300,000 trees over the last two decades. With the destruction of 7,300 trees throughout the city and county, we need to step up.

Change always begins at the local level. Our neighborhood group, the Edgewater Glen Association, has partnered with Open Lands and received 11 trees to replant after the unprecedented derecho storm. For years our group has focused on tree replanting for every tree removed because of aging or disease.

SEND LETTERS TO: letters@suntimes.com. Please include your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes. Letters should be approximately 350 words or less.

However, as ComEd sends out chainsaw crews to cut back trees encroaching on power lines, we have witnessed a very anti-environmental approach. Untrained ComEd crews have butchered mature trees so badly that they reduce the trees’ lives to less than five years.

All things of great change start at the bottom branches.

Marjorie Fritz-Birch & Andrea Raila, Edgewater Glen Association Members

Make 9-8-8 the national number for suicide prevention

September is Suicide Prevention Month and it’s important that we are there for each other and take steps to prevent suicide. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s theme for the month is to #KeepGoing, by taking simple actions to safeguard our mental health and save lives.

From learning the warning signs for suicide and what to do if you are worried someone is struggling, to bringing education programs to your community, we can learn new ways to help each other save lives.

When someone is in acute crisis, it’s hard for them to think clearly, and even reaching out for help can be a struggle. It is vital that Congress pass the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act to designate a three-digit number, 988, for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. This legislation would provide resources for crisis centers to support those struggling with their mental health and thoughts of suicide.

Our family has experienced the chaos, pain and stigma created by suicide and know there are too many families who’ve also been gut-punched by this issue. For too long, there’s been significant confusion about the right number to call, especially during a traumatic event.

Help us to finally get this right and easy to remember with 9-8-8.

Al Diercks, Gurnee

Playing politics with judges

In seeking to remove Judge Michael Toomin from the bench, the Cook County Democratic Party, led by Toni Preckwinkle, shows it is little different the mob: Cross us and you shall go.

Toomin’s offense? He had the audacity to impartially behave like a judge, which here means review Kim Foxx’s actions in the Jussie Smollett case and appoint Dan Webb as a special prosecutor. Toomin has had a distinguished, apolitical, hard-working career, which makes him a threat to the Democratic overlords.

Toomin should walk tall and we the voters should vote to retain him with overwhelming numbers. Shame on Preckwinkle, Foxx, and the party.

William Choslovsky, Sheffield Neighbors