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West Valley Focus

CALABASAS : Anti-Graffiti Squad Cleaned 1,100 Sites

June 04, 1993|KURT PITZER

In a sign that the semirural community of Calabasas is not immune to urban blight, volunteers reported this week that they blasted and rubbed out graffiti in 1,100 places in town last year.

Since forming a year ago, the task force of six residents and business owners sandblasted or used acetone to wipe away graffiti on walls, signs and other spots all over Calabasas, said Ralph Enderle, a local realtor and the leader of the anti-graffiti crew.

"There are no parts of the city--no building, private property or city property that (graffiti) doesn't affect," Enderle told the City Council at its Wednesday night meeting, after presenting dozens of slides showing tagged surfaces.

He said most of the graffiti appears to have been made by Calabasas youths and suggested stiffer penalties on convicted taggers and their parents as a deterrent. The city currently requires convicted taggers or their parents to pay for the cleanup and any damage caused by the graffiti. The state imposes a fine of up to $250 and 48 hours of community service for first-time offenders.

The task force, which received about $2,000 in private donations and $500 from the city for supplies last year, needs more volunteers and funds, Enderle said. He encourages anyone wanting more information or with tips on locations of graffiti, to call Golden Rule Realty at (818) 222-7220, or the sheriff's station at (818) 878-1808.

At the end of the presentation, members of the task force were given a $1,000 check from a representative of Lockheed Corp. and a standing ovation from the City Council. "There is a perception that Calabasas does not have any graffiti, and that is because you folks have worked so hard," Mayor Marvin Lopata said.

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