On Friday, June 10, Michele Molotsky, Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans’ director of constituent services, moderated a meeting in front of the Latvian chancellery, at 2306 Massachusetts Ave. NW, between neighborhood residents and a Latvian official. The residents were trying to save a 100-plus-year-old ginkgo that the Latvian embassy believed was diseased. But the Latvians wouldn’t budge. On Monday, Evans directly lobbied the Latvian ambassador but to no avail. On the next morning, tree cutters started to slice away the ginkgo’s branches. Neighbors rushed officials and an arborist to the scene. A pair of neighbors and Molotsky stood under the tree, and the cutters packed up their things and left, awaiting a final verdict from the District Department of Transportation, which suspended the Latvian embassy’s tree-cutting permit. “I hold no malice toward the Latvians,” says Evans, who encouraged them to “respect the tree.” Secretary Juris Pekalis says the embassy suggested they would plant a new ginkgo. “It’s not that the Latvian Embassy is against trees,” he says.