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VOLUNTEERS : Anaheim Wants to 'Wipe Out Graffiti'

May 03, 1990|CINDY MURPHY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Anaheim's Planning Department and Code Enforcement Division is sponsoring a "Wipe Out Graffiti" campaign on three consecutive Saturdays, May 5, 12 and 19, in its continuing effort to eliminate unwanted inscriptions on public surfaces.

The city needs volunteers who are at least 12 years of age to paint over graffiti or plant shrubs and vines in front of slogan-prone walls. Volunteers ages 12 to 15 will have adult supervision.

"In years past we've had paint-outs, but we've never had (a campaign) this big before," says Carolyn Griebe, consultant to the city. "We sent out about 200 letters to every service group, church service group and high school throughout the city of Anaheim. The volunteers and volunteer groups want to help because they are fed up with this problem and want to express neighborhood pride."

Graffiti has increased in recent years, as has the cost of removing it.

By law, it is the property owner's responsibility to remove graffiti, but for some it's an overwhelming problem. "Some of the citizens are elderly or disabled," said Griebe. "For instance, we had a citizen who is blind and didn't even know his home was an eyesore. A group of volunteers went out and painted his house."

The city is currently offering a $500 reward to anyone who can provide information that leads to the arrest of a graffiti offender. "We have given out six rewards so far," says Griebe. "There have been more than 20 arrests this year."

For more information, contact the Code Enforcement Division at (714) 999-5158. Volunteers are asked to brings their own brush or roller. The city will provide the paint, shrubs and vines.

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