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Asheville has launched what appears to be a good start with its plan to combat graffiti vandalism.

own efforts. Unfortunately, most vandals do not get caught. Police cannot be everywhere at all times, and many vandals do their work under cover of darkness.

The plan was approved 6 1 by City Council and it appears to be acceptable even to downtown property owners who had previous protested against paying for the cleanup. "We agree that we should do this project and we want to work with the city," said Chris Peterson, one of those property owners.

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´╗┐Here's hoping latest effort to tackle graffiti succeeds

to those who are caught that their activities will not be tolerated.

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His point is well taken. Graffiti vandalism is a difficult problem and there is no guarantee that this program, as promising as it sounds, will work. If the fight against graffiti were easy, there would be no problem anywhere.

In the long run, the most important part of the program may be educational efforts. Those who would deface property need to understand that there are more positive ways to assert themselves. Maybe a discussion with some of the vandals would produce some useful ideas.

It does, however, make sense to jump start the campaign with city money. Three months of concerted effort should clean up the backlog and send a message to would be vandals that their work is going to be very transient.

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Pattiy Torno, a property owner in the River Arts District, disagreed. She said a wall there where people were encouraged to paint graffiti attracted people who painted many other structures in the district as well. "It really spawned a huge part of the problem that we're seeing now," she said.

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The obvious question is why property owners should have to pay to clean up graffiti vandalism. The answer, not a satisfying one, is that the city simply cannot afford to. This would result in an increase in everyone's property taxes.

Councilman Cecil Bothwell cast the only negative vote. He said he was dubious the program would work and did not like the idea of making private property owners pay for cleanup.

Councilman Gordon Smith said he would prefer not to use city money. "I want you to think . someone just tagged your tax bill," he said, making a hissing noise like a spray paint can in use. But, he said, for this "real public good" the spending is justified.

In the short run, we need to keep the city free of graffiti and impose penalties that make it clear Converse Laces Styles

Councilman Jan Davis felt that the plan is good, but it should not be considered the last word. If it is "successful, it's going to be worth its cost. If not, we'll have to consider another approach," he said.

In the best of worlds, the vandals would handle the cleanup, either through court fines or their Converse Metallic Rose Gold

expression. "They're doing it because they have no other voice," said resident Bruce Kennedy. "Consider tempering this and look for some way we can encourage creativity."

New civil penalties would be added to the existing criminal penalties. The city will cover 90 percent of the cost of removing graffiti from private property July 1 Sept. 30. After that, Converse Gray the responsibility passes to the property owners. If they don't keep their properties graffiti free, the city will do the job and charge the owners.

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There was some discussion regarding the concept that graffiti vandals are simply people seeking a means of Converse High Tops Australia Cheap

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