Elderly women win fight over crab apple tree

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SHREWSBURY, Mass. (AP) - Two elderly women who tied themselves to a crab apple tree to protest its removal have rescued the tree and saved themselves from eviction.

Seventy-four-year-old Lea Perrone and 65-year-old Pat Henry spent several days tied to the tree at their elderly housing complex, challenging a decision by the Shrewsbury Housing Authority to cut it down to relocate a trash bin. After their protest, they received eviction notices.

On Monday, Perrone, Henry, and a third woman who was threatened with eviction for violating the complex's policy by keeping a chair on her porch met with Housing Authority members. Their lawyer, Christopher Uhl, said the housing authority agreed not to evict the women and said the crab tree will stay put.

Tenants will also be allowed to keep chairs and other items on their porches, as long as they don't block safe exit. A resident advisory board also will be established.

After the meeting Perrone said she was encouraged, and glad she and her neighbors had taken a public stand. "I hope that everybody involved is going to try to get along, as a whole," she said. "It's not good for the town or anybody to have to live like this."

Housing Authority director Dennis Osborn told reporters after the meeting, "We're all going to work together on this in a new spirit of cooperation."

A final vote is still needed from the Housing Authority's board.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. Active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.





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