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Extend olive branch to trim tree

Durango residents are allowed to trim branches from a neighbor’s tree that are hanging over a fence into their yard. But be neighborly and speak to your neighbor first.

Dear Action Line: My neighbor’s tree has branches that extend into my yard. Can I cut them? – Branching out.

Dear Branching: Action Line does not condone violence of any kind.

Dear Action Line: No, stupid, the branches of my neighbor’s tree. Can I cut the branches? – Still Branching Out.

Dear SBO: That’s one of the questions for the ages. If the branch from your neighbor’s tree falls and you were not home, would it still make a sound as it crashed through your fence? If the president says we might be able to inject light or disinfectant to treat coronavirus, will the swing states like Michigan once again give him the Electoral College?

Steve Barkley, code enforcement officer with the city’s Community Development Department, said yes, you can. Cut the branches.

“You have the legal right to cut branches vertically with the property line upwards,” he said. “It is recommended, however, to be neighborly, and speak with your neighbor on the concern of the branches, as they may assist on the endeavor, as well as keeping good relations.”

Dear Action Line: I was walking up the trail from 10th Street to Fort Lewis College the other day and I found this super-secret set of stairs. What are they and why are they numbered? – Stepped in curiosity.

Dear Stepped: Cathy Metz, the city’s director of Parks and Recreation, said those are called the Sky Steps and were built by Trails 2000 in collaboration with the city of Durango and Fort Lewis College.

They officially opened in 2017, and the stairs number exactly 529: The number is also associated with the tax-free college savings accounts. Coincidence? Action Line thinks not. Each time you walk up the stairs you are receiving a subliminal message from FLC to “saave moonnneyy for collleggge.”

Action Line was thoroughly baffled to hear about these stairs, even after living in Durango for 22 years. The next thing you’ll know, people will start telling me there’s a train in this town. Ha. Fool me once.

Dear Action Line: Is it unforgivably unkind of me to dislike my neighbor’s laugh? Isn’t ALL laughter, no matter how creepy and insincere sounding, something to be cherished right now? – Conflicted

Dear Conflicted: Rejoice in your neighbor’s laugh, no matter how creepy and insincere it may sound, because what they are really communicating is, “Ha! I laugh in the face of adversity!”

Since we also have the nightly 8 p.m. collective yelling that’s intended to ward off the COVID heebie-jeebies, your best course of action is to simply start screaming when you hear your neighbor start laughing.

Between the two of you, I bet all the other neighbors will probably join in with their own laughing or screaming. And there were no rules, as I remember, that said we could only scream at 8 p.m. Scream on the hour, every hour. Maybe speak in tongues. See what happens. Just make sure your windows are open so everyone can benefit.

Email questions to actionline@durangoherald.com or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301.

Tom Sluis

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