Micro-news for CT 4601, Altadena, CA

Big improvement at Eaton Canyon falls

posted by Jeremiah 9/24/2009 08:36:00 AM

Okay, this picture may not be the most inspiring, but for anyone who may have felt a bit depressed by my June post with photos and video of the extreme defacement of Eaton Canyon, north of the Mt Wilson Toll Road bridge, I have some good news.

Last weekend I hiked the trail, and was pleasantly surprised. First, while the creek was dry about 1/3 of the way up, the water was running over the falls, and was still creating enough of a pool that there were people swimming and enjoying themselves in it.

But more importantly, all the June graffiti was painted out. As you can see from the photo above, some tags have reappeared, and some of the abatement paint jobs are not the most artful, but before you gasp in horror at the thought of painting over rocks to "remove" graffiti, it really is a gigantic improvement, and the ham-handed cover-up paint job shown in the photo in only obvious because it's on a smooth surface. On rocks, the texture forces the paint-over to be more mottled and blend much better than this. I didn't get any photos of the cover-up of the "murals" at the falls (there were some women swimming and I didn't want to be creepy), but they're far less noticeable, and a major improvement.

On the Stonehill News email group, there was some discussion about the pros and cons of painting over vs removal. I was concerned that removal might actually be worse because of the difficulty in containing any solvents or waste that would result. So in my view, painting over is not ideal, but the only thing better would be a magic wand that prevented the graffiti in the first place.

Graffiti has been will continue to be a constant problem along that trail, and as such, the rocks are were already coated with layers of abatement paint long before the major defacement I photographed in June. If you're a geologist or naturalist looking for pristine nature, you will might want to pick a different trail for hiking, but in a general sense, seeing the graffiti kept at bay so efficiently makes me feel like we live in a civil society.

The somewhat grim news I have is that while coming out of the wash I encountered a large family group staging at the bottom of the Toll Road, preparing to hike in. There were several children and adults. They were carrying folding chairs, back-packs, a cooler, etc. The grim part is that they were all dressed in kind of "gang-ie" looking clothes, consisting of tight straight braids and bald heads, black baseball hats, black baggy t-shirts or white tank tops, thin gold chains, baggy shorts, etc., and there was a large new can of Krylon industrial marking paint sitting on the ground amidst their supplies. As I approached them and spotted the paint, I commented (with a wink and a smile) something like, "you're going to use that to cover up graffiti, right?" They looked a bit surprised for a moment and then laughed it off, and went on to admire my dog (she's a pit-bull, and they liked the breed).

In any case, despite it having been notably better in terms of the level of graffiti, there were already a few tags here and there, and I assume there's a good chance that the group I encountered added their own markings when they went in.

As such, I waited until today, but I did call for abatement:

LACO Graffiti Hotline 800-675-4357 option 2

The man who answered told me they should have it cleaned up in about 3 days. (confirmation #118162)

Every time I've used this hotline, the problem has gotten cleaned up very quickly, so please do use it if you see graffiti yourself.

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At 9/24/2009 1:11 PM, Blogger Dita said...

Jeremiah, Remember the graffiti on the stone wall near Ridley Creek Park? Someone kept painting it over in white, and soon after, more graffiti would appear. Then,after years of this, someone painted it white again, and put a huge mural of a dove with the words PEACE ON EARTH over it. Never again has there been graffiti on that wall and this happened around 18 years ago. The dove mural is still there. It makes my heart glad every time I drive past. Ma

At 9/24/2009 5:59 PM, Blogger Greg Sweet said...

Forest Service (mostly volunteer labor, by the way) is using a prduct called "Taginator" that melts away the spray paint and is reportedly inert once it hits the soil or water.


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An Actual Nigerian Scam in 2009

posted by Jeremiah 7/11/2009 11:07:00 AM

The message below happened to make it through my spam filter this morning. Hard to believe that the venerable Nigerian Scam is still circulating in almost original form. You'd think they'd change up the country at least.

Here is a hilarious description of how one scambaiter gets over on this kind of scammer (some scambaiter pranks aren't but this one is family friendly):

And here is a good Salon.com article on I crave your distinguished indulgence (and all your cash) by Douglas Cruickshank

Date: Sat, 11 Jul 2009 10:00:29 -0500
Subject: can i confide in you

Dear Friend

I am John Enoh Ewan the Chairman House of Committee on Finance, National Assembly Chambers of Federal Republic of Nigeria I write to honorably request your assistance in helping to receive amount of money into your account for safe keeping and for future investment in your country.

By virtue of my position as the chief supervisor of foreign contracts, the sum of US$25,000,000.00 (Twenty Five Million United States Dollars) is available in escrow account that I intend to transfer overseas through your assistance as a foreign partner.

This money is as a result of Over provision in the Federal government budget for unpaid contract amount to foreign contractors who executed contract in the Niger - Delta in Petroleum industry.

As soon as the contract amount is paid to you, I will share with you 40% and 60% for me, my share you will help me to invest in any profitable and lucrative business in your country or any other country that you will so

You can reach me by return mail, including
(1) Your full names and Age
(2) Your contact address and country of Origin
(3) Your company's name (if any) Your Position /Occupation
(4) Your confidential telephone (cell) and fax number

The above information will enable me brief you more details of the transaction and also start the application process/documentation that will lead to the release of the funds to you through bank to bank transfer. While waiting for your quick response I remain your potential investment

Best Regards,

Honorable John Enoh

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Eaton Canyon Falls Graffiti Survey

posted by Jeremiah 6/13/2009 07:04:00 PM

Today I hiked up to the Eaton Canyon Falls, and I took a picture of every surface that had paint on it, either covering old graffiti, brand new graffiti or both. As you can tell by looking at all the painted over rocks and walls, graffiti is nothing new under the bridge and along the whole creek bed, however make sure you go all the way through to the end of the slide show. The walls and rocks of the canyon by the falls have been spray painted on a scale that is unusual, judging by the fact that many of the surfaces that are defaced do not have abatement paint behind them.

It's hard to tell from the photos just how disturbing it is to see in person. It reminds me of pre-Giuliani Central Park. This video, panning around the falls area helps illustrate how terrible this is.

I plan on calling this defacement into the graffiti hotline now, and will update this post with the confirmation number(s). The county has previously been extremely prompt about taking care of graffiti. We'll see how long this takes to clean up, as it's far less accessible. I suppose they'll hike in with supplies, as a helicopter drop off seems overkill for graffiti.

Update: I just got off the phone with the Graffiti Hotline.

LACO Graffiti Hotline 800-675-4357 option 2

The woman who answered told me they should have it cleaned up by Wednesday. (confirmation #108516)

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At 6/14/2009 8:01 AM, Blogger feonixrift said...

What's terrible isn't just the buildup of graffiti over time... I was out there a couple weeks ago, quite a lot of that is brand new.

At 6/14/2009 12:53 PM, Blogger Isaac Garcia said...

Hey man, its art.

Leave these people alone. We can't be oppressive of artists. Who do you think you are?

Do it in the road man,....its okay man, as long as they aren't hurting anybody.

Why are you such a hater? This is a racist blog full of hate-speech.

I'm going to stop downloading this web page.

At 6/14/2009 1:04 PM, Blogger Jeremiah said...

Yes, most of the tags look new. The paint is still glossy. In particular the tag Ruf and variants of that are extremely prevalent. Some of the other large multi-color tags are Tatum, Smuk, Mireya and a aborted attempt at Voner. Vonbon/Voner, Cupcake and Caspar are fairly prevalent as small tags. There are also a few groupings with other tags mixed in like Bugs. I also note that there are at least two instances where 09 is written.

In design school I read a few books about "subway art" which featured many dozens of photographs of quite accomplished and sophisticated graffiti compositions. With regard to the artistic merit of this defacement, it all looks very crude and ham handed, leading me to think that this is a bunch of rookies. So even if it were not painted on the most inappropriate location possible, it has zero artistic merit. My instinct is that this was a bunch of high school kids.

At 6/14/2009 1:05 PM, Blogger Jeremiah said...

@Isaac: hahaha! ROFLMAO

At 9/24/2009 2:10 AM, Blogger Bryan said...

So sad, too painful to see the whole video.

At 9/24/2009 8:26 AM, Blogger Jeremiah said...

I meant to blog about this, but the good news is, I hiked up there last weekend, and 99% of the graffiti in these pics and videos has been covered over. It might seem just as bad to hear about rocks being painted over to "remove" the graffiti, but it really is so much better. Since the abatement, a few minor new tags have re-appeared, but it's significantly better down there now.

At 11/17/2009 6:49 AM, Anonymous CMC said...

You either "celebrate diversity" or you don't. Angelenos prattle on about their "richly diverse" environments, except when those they've defensively dubbed with diplomatic euphemisms show up for a picnic and an afternoon of spray painting. Once upon a time, the local police would have pulled over a carload of Tatums, Smuks, and Mireyas before they were two blocks from the freeway off-ramp, but that isn't done anymore, and you get to share nature equally.


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Graffiti in E Loma Alta section of Altadena

posted by Jeremiah 2/24/2009 05:50:00 PM

Below are pictures of graffiti that appeared recently on the fence of the
Rubio Debris Basin:

View Larger Map

These marks look similar to those which appeared in other places near by in
a similar time frame pictures also attached.

On the yellow directional sign at Loma Alta & Sunny Oaks the letters "HOES"
appear very similar to those on the basin fence locations.

One of the large words on the block wall on Porter (under the word "TRAGIK")
appears also to be "HOES"

We are hoping this is just a delinquent kid, but concerned that it may be a
precursor to more serious crime and/or graffiti.

In any case, I'd like to see this cleaned up as soon as possible.

Update: I just got off the phone with the Graffiti Hotline.

LACO Graffiti Hotline 800-675-4357 option 2

The woman who answered told me that there would be different response times
for each of the marks based on the surface they were on. And she gave me
three separate confirmation numbers. If any other neighbors want to call you
can reference these. In particular, the owner of the block wall may want to
have some say in how the county plans to clean it.

She said the block wall and the utility box would be cleaned in two business
days. (confirmation #97312)

The debris basin sign 3 business days (confirmation #97314)

The yellow directional sign longer because it has to go through a different
department (confirmation #97313)

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