Wednesday, September 9, 2009

$837,000 later....

LOS ANGELES--Whether simple letters or elaborate, colorful designs, tagging--or graffiti--is considered vandalism and is getting a cover-up along some 100 miles of rivers, creeks, washes and channels of the Los Angeles County Drainage Area and Santa Ana River Basin. Crews from Corps of Engineers contractor BJD Resourcing are removing graffiti by water blasting rock-grouted surfaces. According to the project manager, the process helps keep the natural look of the surface.

"Other areas, where it’s a concrete wall or concrete embankment, we go ahead and cover it over with an approved paint, a waterway-safe paint," said Jeff Vaughn, project manager, BJD Resourcing.

A one-year, $837,000 contract, funded by the Recovery Act, was awarded to this small San Fernando business, to not only tackle a community nuisance, but give people jobs.

"Through this, we’ve brought on four crews; it’s given new employment to about eight personnel and it’s reorganized about three-to-four other personnel," said Vaughn.

BJD’s four crews, armed with two generator-powered sprayers and 135 gallons of paint each, cover a total of about 810-thousand square feet of concrete canvas per day. Not necessary to maintain channel function, the enhancement work reduces the amount of deferred maintenance within the Los Angeles District’s flood risk management program and improves the many projects in the area.

"People that live around and work in that community are proud to be there," said Kelly Howard, operations supervisor in the District’s asset management division. "With the graffiti and so forth—urban blight, basically—what we’re trying to do is clean up our assets and make them look presentable."

The initial clean-up of all areas is expected to be completed by December. The contractor will continue to monitor and paint over problem areas for the remainder of the year-long contract.

I love how we're in a recession and suppose to spend our money wisely on programs to benefit the greater good as a whole, but still this program and frame of thinking still happens. Oh your providing jobs for the unemployed by having them clean up graffiti in a canal/river thats not even accessible to the regular public, great job!

Why does it target graffiti clean up when we can clean up the streets that people actually walk on, invest money to stop crime in the city or a program that simply helps other people to help more people out an not just clean up urban blight. Graffiti supposedly destroys the environment and then in turn makes the surrounding neighbor hoods labeled "bad" or "unatractive". I bet those neighbor hoods already got dope dealers and crack heads before it got a problem with graffiti. I guess because graffiti is something you can point your finger at and can be seen morning, noon or night. They aren't around when the crack heads come out of their crawl space and continue to make that place a cesspool of crap, violence and sorrows.

Also, with this new budget LA had to postpone getting new books for the school system. As Maude Flaunders would say, "Why wont any body think of the children!??!"

The upper portion of this rant was taken from Revoks blog.

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