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  • 14

    LA: Where Are the Adults?
    The Arts; Posted on: 2007-04-26 12:56:07 [ Printer friendly / Instant flyer ]
    City Hall can’t cope as L.A. neighborhoods get hit by taggers gone wild

    Last year, the City of Los Angeles removed more than 27 million square feet of graffiti, enough to squirt a 1-foot-wide swath of Rust-Oleum from Hollywood Boulevard to Fifth Avenue in New York City, then double back to State Street in Chicago.

    Against the backdrop of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s big, bold quality-of-life initiatives — he’s gonna win the gang war, he’s gonna plant 1 million trees, he’s gonna reform the public schools, he’s gonna solve the traffic snarl — City Hall is locked in an old battle just to slow down thousands of teenage and young-adult tagger vandals who create the tattered, splattered environment that feeds into the “broken-window syndrome” that drags down neighborhoods and invites crime.

    The city says it is throwing what it can at the problem, sometimes cleaning up the vandalism quickly — though never quite keeping up. The taggers tag; the city removes. The taggers tag the same wall again; the city removes again — ad nauseam. Think of a racing greyhound, chasing that lure. Never does catch up.

    The failing war on graffiti — a subject Villaraigosa rarely mentions — takes on extra significance against a backdrop of other stalled mayoral efforts to address pressing quality-of-life issues in Los Angeles.

    His April 19 budget proposal slashes $18 million from street services — the most-requested public service in Los Angeles — a huge, 11 percent cut that will worsen the city’s staggering, 83-year backlog for basic sidewalk repairs.

    News Source: laweekly.com


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