Man sits in tree to protest cutting plans

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ENCINITAS, Calif., Feb. 1 (UPI) -- An Encinitas, Calif., protester says he's not coming down from a tree until it's spared from city plans to cut it down.

Andrew Watkins climbed into a platform he had built in the tipuana tipu tree in Encinitas' Orpheus Park Friday, telling the San Diego Union-Tribune he'll stay up there until the mayor tell him the shade tree won't be coming down as part of an agreement with the neighboring Coast Point condominium complex.


City workers removed 10 other trees and began planting 22 replacements along the park perimeter, keeping a verbal agreement made with condo owners to preserve their views when the park was built in the early 1990s. But Watkins said Saturday he's not budging from his perch.

The founder of a grass-roots group called Local Power San Diego told the newspaper that sheriff's deputies haven't bothered him, while Encinitas City Manager Phil Cotton said he has no plans to oust Watkins.

"Let's let him sit up there," Cotton said.

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