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VOICES / STREET LEVEL

Issue: Will the Measure to Restrict the Sale of Spray Paint and Markers in Some Areas Curb Graffiti?

March 21, 1993|Erin J. Aubry, Times community correspondent

* Eryn Washington, restaurant employee

It'll slow some of it down but it won't stop it. Kids will do what they want to . . . they'll do what they need to do. (The board) shouldn't stop other groups from buying spray paint, though. That's not right. The whole idea is far-fetched, really.

* Akintunde Tejuoso, musician

Ghetto kids have limited means of expression . . . there's nothing to do in school. They need a mode of expression. They'll make themselves one if it doesn't exist in the system. The solution is to provide them with a vehicle for them to be able to write and draw. We need to get ways for them to express themselves. If we cut off expression, they'll go forward, in good or bad ways. We've got to talk to them, see what's on their minds. Writing on walls isn't negative per se .

* Anthony Montanez, recreation services supervisor

I don't think it will work unless the board bans the sale of spray paint to minors completely. Otherwise, kids will get what they need to get somewhere else or some other way. Recently in the park some gang members took another kid's bike, and wouldn't give it back until the kid gave them several cans of spray paint. So I think the sales should be banned totally, with the exception of businesses and people of age.

* Tony Nicholas, member , United Homeowners Assn.

We have to try and do something. Graffiti has gotten to the point where it has disfigured this city. Every time I see it on a wall, I grimace because it brings down our community. Since gang members and taggers don't own anything, they're trying to establish ownership. You have real power when you can sign your name on a check, or a business contract; you can't sign those things with spray paint. People doing graffiti need to be responsible. Express yourself by doing artwork, not by painting over someone else's property or labor of love.

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