Truckee woman grows peace garden | SierraSun.com

Truckee woman grows peace garden

Renee Shadforth
Photo by Colin FisherJane Weeks stands in front of her Prosser home, which has recently been decorated with signs expressing her anti-war stance on Iraq.
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No matter what their opinion, Prosser resident Jane Weeks says she respects everyone’s first amendment right to free speech. And she’s heard it all, while protesting against the United States’ Iraq policy.

“I’ve been standing on the corner by Safeway with signs [protesting war in Iraq] and I’ve had such positive responses. But I’ve also had negative responses,” said Weeks, who said people have done everything from shouting obscenities to spitting at her.

“But that’s their right. They might be pro-war, but I’m pro-voice,” she said. “At least they’re not being apathetic.”

Recently, Weeks said, she had been thinking about going out to march but instead decided to display some of her signs in her front yard. She has displayed approximately 30 signs – with declarations like “Read My ApocoLips” and “How Many Lives Per Gallon?” – in front of her house.

“For me, I feel like instead of staging a big protest, I might be able to reach more people this way,” she said. “I would rather be sensitive so people will listen.”

And people have taken notice of what Weeks calls her “Peace Garden.” During the Sierra Sun’s interview with Weeks, a passerby slowed down in front of her home, read the signs, made obscene gestures, continued reading the signs and drove away.

There have also been complaints. In the two weeks she has had the signs in her front yard, several people have called the town of Truckee, saying the signs are eyesores.

Dan Fite, Truckee code enforcement officer, received two formal complaints from one woman and a few calls from people in the neighborhood about Weeks’ “Peace Garden.”

Last Monday, Fite went to Week’s house and asked her to remove the signs she had posted in the town’s right of way. She is allowed, however, to continue posting them in her yard.

“Technically she’s in violation of the town’s sign ordinance, but it’s a free speech issue as well,” Fite said.

Although it’s not unusual for signs and items to be illegally placed in the town’s right of way, this is the first time he’s had a situation like this, Fite said.

Even though Weeks had hoped she would get more of a reaction from her “Peace Garden” – she expected her friends would do the same in their yards – she’s happy someone has taken the energy to protest what she’s done.

“It’s hard to outcast yourself in some ways,” she said, “but it’s better than being fearful and apathetic.”

The Peace Garden is located on 12036 Pine Forest Road in the Prosser Lakeview Estates in Truckee. E-mail Jane Weeks at tarzanaLTD@aol.com.