The Public Voice
Letters To The Editor 3.01.12
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Four years ago, Santa Barbara was complaining about having to spend as much as $200,000 per year cleaning graffiti. My suggestion for Monterey County: Create a graffiti park (“A game of tag,” Feb. 23-29).
Simply choose an existing city or county park or lot or a spot on the beach, erect some long but cheap plywood walls, and invite taggers to come display their handiwork every weekend, in broad daylight, with no fear of recrimination. Leave everything as-is for a week-long display (even photograph the tags every Monday for inclusion in the city’s or county’s website, with appropriate credits to the “artists”), then every Friday whitewash the walls for retagging that upcoming weekend.
Taggers won’t be able to resist. Using the park might wean them from damaging private and public property, because the park walls will become THE place to show off and compare their work. It’ll become a weekly art event. Once they use and enjoy the park, they won’t want to tag elsewhere, because illegal tags won’t gain any interest or attention like they’ll find at the park, and taggers won’t get any respect if they don’t compete at the park. (Besides, anyone will be able to compare park tags with illegal tags and immediately know who did the damage.) The taggers will probably even voluntarily do the Friday whitewashing. You could use portable panels, and move the whole show to a different location every few months as an interesting event. Perhaps even do some competitions with judging.
For some cheap walls, a few gallons of weekly whitewash, and almost no labor, graffiti can become one more cool tourist trap, instead of being a yearly drain on taxpayers. - Joe Snyder | Monterey
Asking a graffiti artist to “open a gallery” is about as perceptive as it gets. Why don’t they just sit at home with their high-speed Internet connections and their large-screens and i7 chips and do something useful… (like the rest of us)? Also, Mr. Vincent, if you charge $500 to cover up the graffiti shown on the photo, then you really were born at the right time for your skillset. - Jerry | via Web
I find it absolutely deplorable that you put an admitted and avowed tagger on your cover, while giving little attention to the good and noble people who are working hard to clean up the messes these criminals leave behind. Have you no shame or sense of decency? Put yourself in the shoes of the victims – and yes, they ARE victims – the hardworking folks like Jacey Rury, whose cupcake truck fell victim to this kind of malicious activity. I hope you never have to experience the pain of having your property destroyed. - Disgruntled | Salinas
Thanks for spotlighting the work of Adolfo Arias and Joseph Frausto, who teach art in the schools. I think if more people were willing to step up and work with kids in the schools, graffiti apps and graffti-proof coatings would be unnecessary. - Renee Migiel | Salinas
I personally know individuals who have benefited from the Employment Services, so I give accolades for what the WIB achieves (“State audit finds fault in county’s job placement program,” Feb. 23-29). Nevertheless, nearly $1 million in unallowable expenses is really disappointing to hear. - Daca0535 | via Web
Slow Down on Fast Food
Fast food is rearing its ugly head again in the city of Pacific Grove! This issue is currently in the lap of the Planning Commission, and the city seems determined to open its doors to the Taco Bells, Wendy’s, and Burger Kings of this world.
You might remember that in 1995 the citizens of Pacific Grove rose up and stopped Taco Bell from locating here. We crafted an ordinance that has protected the city for 17 years.
It seems sentiment against formula fast food has not changed over the years. Pacific Grove Neighbors recently did a survey/petition in which over 92 percent of residents, businesses and visitors signed to preserve the current ordinance against corporate fast food! We talked to over 300 people in Pacific Grove. Many signers complained about the poor nutrition served up at these establishments, others were aghast that such tacky businesses would be allowed to locate in our lovely town. If you feel as we do that formula fast food has no place in the last hometown (we already have four of them), then let the City Council know about your concerns. - Terrence B. Zito | via Web
(Editor’s note: Mr. Zito is on the steering committee of the Pacific Grove Neighbors organization.)
I liked the Squid piece on Brian Boudreau’s insider letter being mistakenly posted on the City of Seaside’s website (“Squid Fry,” Feb. 23-29).
Here is another interesting website-cleaning tidbit regarding Boudreau.
Though I didn’t speak, I attended the Feb. 16 Seaside City Council meeting concerning the Monterey Downs environmental impact report contracting. Earlier in the day I submitted 10 color copies of my opposition letter to the Seaside City Clerk for the council. My letter was essentially advising them to look at Brian Boudreau’s Monterey Downs website promotion as slick and deceptive.
Specifically I wrote, “All of this Monterey Downs slick promotion and ever-present lobbying could easily be just smoke and mirrors concealing a Trojan horse to build a 1-mile horse-racing track for thoroughbred horse breeders and gamblers. The developer certainly has never openly promoted his horse-racing track to the public. However he does deceptively slip it into his promotional website by showing a photo of a jockey mounted on a thoroughbred horse in full gallop, on a race track which is identified simply as a ‘TRAINING FACILITY.’ There is your second clue. Why doesn’t he label that photo what it really is, a planned 1-mile horse race track?”
Shortly after the council meeting both of Boudreau’s websites were deactivated. No more website with galloping horse photo labeled ‘TRAINING FACILITY’ and no more map website labeling the horse racing track simply as a ‘SPORTS ARENA & TRAINING TRACK.’ - What a coincidence. - Gordon Smith | Monterey
(Editor’s note: Mr. Smith is on the steering committee of the group Keep Fort Ord Wild. While he provided screen shots showing the Monterey Downs website indeed was down and unavailable for some amount of time, the website has since been reactivated and includes the pictures referenced above.)