by William Wainwright
Back to , named after James Rankin, Black Diamond Mines miner and mine owner-manager, County Sheriff (1884-1888), President of Bank of Martinez (1898-1901). You would think that Tim Tucker or any member of the Park and Recreation staff, not to mention my former colleagues on the City Council, would have thought, well if they're going to cut down the olive trees that Bill's great-grandfather planted, we should at least call him about it in advance... Well, not a soul called. Not Dylan Radke, Chair of the Park and Recreation Commission whose wife I supported for School Board, not Gay Gerlach, a friend and member of the same Commission, whom I supported for City Council, not Don Palotta, also a Commission member, friend and brother of an Alhambra classmate, nor anyone else. No one called my attention to the planned destruction of the beautiful 120-year old olive trees that canopied the Rankin Park picnic area that has been the site of many fine Martinez functions over the years.
Those trees are gone. The explanation: “they were diseased." Ever hear of an olive tree dying? Also, “a handicap access issue." Just spin to hide the need to get the terrain remodeling job done at "least expense." "Least expense" destroyed an important part of our Martinez heritage, the site of many memorable Martinez community picnics.
Now they're all gone, in the City that boasts that it is a "Tree City." "Tree City," my eye.