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Can’t we all just get along?

By Aaron Kinney
Friday, March 2nd, 2007 at 6:15 pm in Uncategorized.

Citizens for a Better Burlingame held a “Rant ‘n’ Rave” open-mic session Tuesday evening at Copenhagen Bakery on Burlingame Avenue, where 15-20 locals shared what they like and dislike about the city.

Burlingame City Manager Jim Nantell was in attendance and used his rant to make a plea for residents to be more tolerant of conflicting opinions. Nantell was referring in part to Tom the Tree, a eucalyptus on Easton Drive that has inflamed the passions of Burlingame tree lovers.

“I wish the community could be more tolerant and respectful of differing opinions,” said Nantell.

The city’s plan to remove the tree, which has been put on hold, touched off a fierce debate in the community, some of which played out on the Burlingame Voice, a blog that covers local issues.

The architect of the blog, local businessman Stephen Hamilton, and one of its moderators, Stephen’s wife Fiona, were sitting mere feet away. And it was Hamilton who’d organized the night’s gathering.

Awkward! But Hamilton acknowledged Nantell’s remarks with aplomb before returning to the “Rant ‘n’ Rave,” which was inspired by the soap-box sermons delivered in London’s Hyde Park.

Other rant subjects included: Lackluster street-sweeping by city trucks; cigarette-butt littered sidewalks; Allied Waste; and the city’s lack of a performing arts venue.

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