New Haven to Occupiers: Stop Destroying the Environment!

by Categorized: Environment, Legal Affairs, Politics, Poverty, Public Safety Date:

In court battles, there are the legal skirmishes, and then there are the somewhat extra-judicial appeals to emotion and senses of fair play. Lawyers for New Haven — headed to court tomorrow for Round 2 in their efforts to boot the Occupy New Haven protesters off the Green — are trying both approaches.

In more than 100 pages of freshly filed court papers, the city makes it case that it has the legal authority to shut down the tent city and that its regulations are narrowly tailored and content-neutral. But beyond the legalese, the filings also includes affidavits from city employees bemoaning the environmental damage they say Occupy New Haven has caused.

Christy Haas, the city’s deputy parks director, wrote that The Green wasn’t designed for continuous camping and can’t handle the environmental impact of the occupation.

“As a result of the conditions and use of The Green, I have observed that the grass has become compacted and is now destroyed to the point that all that remains is a large dirt area,” Haas wrote. “In addition to damage to the grass, the soil under the trees has been compacted, which reduces the air space between the soil and destroys the tree’s roots. Further, the ropes that are being tied to the trees and the items that are being hung or are leaning on the trees have further damaged the trees.”

Repair bill for the dead grass and wounded trees? “Approximately $20,000 to $25,000,” Haas wrote.

But it’s not just the money. “Trees are of particular importance to the City and its citizens,” Haas wrote. “New Haven is home to America’s first public tree planting program, which means that today the city is alive with trees and is called the ‘Elm City.’ ”

Message to environmentalists: It’s not easy being The Green.

In the court papers, police and fire officials also weighed in on what they say is a public safety threat represented by the encampment. Fire Chief Michael Grant declared that conditions on The Green “pose serious fire safety hazards,” including the clustering of non-fire-retardent tents and the collection of “highly flammable materials.”

The city also tallied up police calls to The Green for the period the protesters have occupied the space, and compared the numbers to the same time period one and two years earlier. Dispatches during the protest were two to three times more common than in past years, the city reported. Click here for the rundown.

And in perhaps the most curious of the affidavits, the city’s registrar of vital statistics related an episode in which a man named Joshua Heltke requested an Elm City Resident Identification Card, “claiming that his residential address was ‘The Green.’ ”

The battle resumes in U.S. District Court in New Haven Wednesday at 2 pm.

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17 thoughts on “New Haven to Occupiers: Stop Destroying the Environment!

  1. Manny

    These protracted and expensive court proceedings are going on because the stupid city and the liberals that are the Green’s “proprietors” allowed this shantytown to be erected in the first place, cause they saw the “occupy” movement as good for Obama’s and the Democrats’ class warfare-based re-election prospects. Now the OWS movement has lost all public support, because the occupiers were exposed as a bunch of dirty, lazy, welfare-wanting hippies. And now city officials are being put through the mill for their politically motivated decision to allow this pigsty to begin with. LOL.

      1. ms

        Will you two be singing the same tune when the corporations, banks, hedge fund managers, etc. that the Occupiers are protesting have plunged the U.S. into the biggest economic collapse in U.S. history? When a loaf of bread costs $20 or more? A gallon of gas $25? Keep on criticizing the Occupiers–the people in this country who are actually attempting to DO something about the coming calamity. It has nothing to do with Obama. It goes WAY beyond Obama.

        1. Runningonjoy

          MS: we are not headed into the “biggest economic collapse in US history.” Corporations have the highest price to earnings ratios that they’ve ever seen in history. Not just the CEO’s and executives but the corporations themselves are sitting on the biggest mounds of cash ever. Unemployment numbers are decreasing because the extensions are running out and lazy terds are finally ending their “campouts” in village greens and going back to work like the rest of us.
          How exactly are the Occupiers “doing” anything by sitting around unemployed and dirty? They are making a mockery of themselves. Please explain to me what exactly they have accomplished besides neglecting their personal hygiene and turning city parts into hippie villages for degenerates.

  2. ms

    What have they done? They’ve drawn attention to the greed and corruption that is dragging our once-great country into the muck. You don’t think we’re headed for the biggest economic collapse in the history of our nation? There are quite a few economists who would beg to differ with you. Look around you. How long can the Feds continue to print money? How long can we accumulate debt? I wish you were right, but you’re not.

    1. Don

      What have they done? Evidently they are raping people in the park according to the police calls.

      I’ve never had a company physically rape me.

      The government and the occupiers are more violent and dangerous than any company.

      All you have is fear mongering. We got tired of that with Bush. Find a new trick.

  3. Josh

    If the city of New Haven is so worried about the environment, why has it done nothing to clean up the old, grossly-polluted English Station power plant on the Mill River between downtown and the Fair Haven neighborhood? I mean, if you’re really worried about the environment, and you choose to nitpick about grass that can easily be regrown and do nothing about a massively polluted brownfield, wouldn’t it be safe to say that your priorities are a little out of whack? The continued existence of large polluted sites in New Haven proves that the city is using the environmental concern argument as a wedge to drive out protesters.

  4. Rae

    I hardly see compacting grass, which can easily be tilled as “destroying the environment”

    very hyperbolic.

  5. RepoWoman

    I agree with Josh. The city has much bigger fish to go after, if their main argument is the environment. $20K to reseed grass? Who’s cousin owns a landscaping biz? Dump new top soil, spread, seed. I could do that for waaaaay less! May I bid on that job? Please!? Please!?
    I believe that many of the people camping are homeless, not protestors. Maybe the cause of “higher incidences” of police dispatches. If the city ran safe, clean shelters you wouldn’t have this issue! Use the $20K to clean up the deplorable building you dare to call a “shelter!”

  6. CTPati

    The unkempt “occupiers” are not “doing something” to stop the ruination of our economy, which has been caused by incompetent career politicians and their crony capitalist friends.

    The “occupiers” are ‘useful idiots’ (for the most part), or those who are complicit in trying to create chaos in order to “bring down Capitalism,” as Stephen Lerner, Soros and other Statist/Socialist forces are demanding.

  7. CTPati

    The City of New Haven and police made a big mistake in the first place of allowing tents to be set up by the “occupy” rabble.

    Free speech rights do NOT include camping on public space and setting up dangers for public health and safety. Allowing tents and overnight occupation became quickly a public nuisance, where CRIMES including theft and rape have occurred, as well as unsanitary and ugly conditions.

    Allowing this from the beginning, let alone for months, is like tolerating tantrums from spoiled children and then finally getting fed up and demanding they grow up.

    The city should have demanded compliance with the LAW from the beginning!!

  8. click

    Keep contacting other people and getting dates with them. They are more like tools for directing power than they are particular stances or moves. Check out your satellite Television listings to find out for your self.

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