Graffiti: No longer tolerated | SierraSun.com

Graffiti: No longer tolerated

Annie Flanzraich
Sierra Sun

Emma Garrard / Sun file photoA stop sign on Deer Street in Kings Beach was vandalized with graffiti earlier this year. Graffiti was found in several locations in Kings Beach and has been a project for area organizations to help solve.

KINGS BEACH ” It used to be behind the old Kentucky Fried Chicken building or the movie theater in Kings Beach, but recently the Placer County Sheriff’s Office and community organizers have noticed less graffiti around the Kings Beach neighborhood.

In April, vandals spray-painted red eagles, profane language and the No. 14 on Deer Street fences and the Kings Beach Elementary School building. Now, both those areas are graffiti-free, and since April, Placer County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Allan Carter said the department has seen less graffiti activity.

“This is typically our slow season,” Carter said. “We’re focused on higher degrees of patrol and actively going after the people we apprehend. We actively prosecute them and that’s sending the message that we are not going to tolerate it.”

Other programs and citizens in the area try to help prevent lawbreakers by promoting awareness and education.

“We talk to our own kids,” she said. “A lot of it is about respecting the club. We’re lucky to have such a beautiful facility. We tell them that it’s their club and they need to help keep it nice.”

Carbajal said the club has been vandalized in the past. Many of the times the vandals were caught and had to clean up the damage, she said.

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“I think it shows the other kids what the consequences of graffiti is,” she said. “If they are doing clean up then hopefully it makes it harder for them to do it the next day.

Many times graffiti is linked with gangs, Carbajal said. In that case, the Boys and Girls Club offers many programs that educate young men and women about gangs and helps them build self-esteem and resistance to peer pressure, she said.

In other cases members of the community have set up their own graffiti patrols to help spot and clean the vandalism.

From 2000 to 2005, Kings Beach resident Cris Hennessey worked with a group of neighbors to look around the community for graffiti.

“It’s a neighborhood effort,” Hennessey said. “We kept an eye out on all of the Kings Beach grid.”

Hennessey said graffiti was much more prevalent when she was patrolling versus in recent years.

“It’s mellowed out,” she said. “I see how a lot of social services are really working with families in the long term instead of putting Band-Aids on the problems.”

She said that she’s also seen more people move to Kings Beach and buy property who are more invested in the community.

“They are invested in it ” not just financially, they really care,” she said.

In addition to their usual law enforcement efforts, the Placer County Sheriff’s office is working with the North Tahoe Family Resource Center to draft a new graffiti abatement code.

Right now, when deputies find graffiti, they can document it and try to find the vandals.

However, it is the property owner’s responsibility to clean up the graffiti, said Community Services Officer Kristen Mann.

“We’re trying to come up with a way to alleviate some of the cost from the property owners,” Mann said.

The code might also address the property of second-home owners, who may not be near to take care of the graffiti on private property.

In addition, the Sheriff’s office also goes out into the community to give presentations about graffiti to different groups, Mann said.

Feb. 19: Five street signs spray painted

Feb. 28: Tagging at Kings Beach Bathrooms

March 3: Multiple vandalism and gang spray paint to vehicles and buildings

March 30: Fence Tagged, Bear Street

March 30: East fencing wall of business tagged

March 30: Tagging, Steelhead Avenue

March 30: Tagging, Trout Street

March 30: Tagging, Deer Street

March 31: Graffiti on garage door, Steelhead Street

April 3: Graffiti, North Tahoe Public Utility District, Tahoe Vista

April 4: Graffiti on stop signs and rocks adjacent to Steelhead, Coon and Deer streets

April 4: Dumpsters tagged on Minnow Street

April 7: Graffiti at Tahoe Lake School

April 9: Graffit at Kings Beach Elementary School

April 14: Graffiti, laundry machines, walls and fence, Fox Street

April 18: Graffit, Rainbow Avenue

April 23: Graffiti on fence, Fox street

April 29: Graffit on bathrooms at Squaw Valley

May 4: Gang graffiti on bear bin, Canterbury Drive

May 23: Graffiti, Rainbow Avenue

May 27: Tagging at business on Rainbow Avenue

May 27: Building windows and van tagged, Steelhead Avenue

May 30: Tagging, Deer Street

June 11: Tagging, Dolly Varden Avenue

June 14: Tagging on stop sign and fence on Deer Street

July 18: Graffiti, Kings Beach State Beach

July 28: Tagging and bathrooms, Kings Beach boat ramp

Aug. 14: Graffiti, Squaw Valley Ski Area

Aug. 21: Back hoe and water tank graffiti, Ward Creek Boulevard

Aug. 27: Obscenities carved into wall of home, Korlebu Lane

Sept. 1: Water tank and pump station graffiti and damage, McKinney Creek Road

Nov. 11: Paint vandalism, Donner Creek Mobile Home Park