Way to help stop Graffiti Vandalizing Crimes & Incidents, posted by Lindsay Wright, a resident of the Ruby Hill neighborhood, on Dec 3, 2008 at 4:25 pm
My name is Lindsay Wright and I am Village High School graduate. Incase there are people out there who donít know what Village High School is, it is your local Pleasanton Coninuation school off of Bernal and 1st street. Now recently around Pleasanton, Livermore and Dublin I have being hearing more and more about Graffiti becoming a problem, so I have looked around town, and online for any talk more in depth about plans of action to put an end to Graffiti Vandals in Pleasanton. I have found very little and of what I have found it seems like all of the answers some how resort back to gangs and groups of hoodlums. Seeing as how I went to the school where most of our towns supposed ďgangs/hoodlumsĒ went I thought it might be my turn to help through out an idea that although may seem extreme I think and so have many student and children I have spoken to think is a better alternative.
Problem: Our town and our surrounding towns are being vandalized by graffiti artists .
Cityís Solution: Is to try and cover them up as quickly as possible, or plant Ivy or shrubs around over passes and concrete buildings.
Facts: 1. The cityís current course of action is not working
2. It doesnít matter how many shrubs you plant and times you paint over their work they are and will continue to paint on whatever they can.
Now this leads me to My Solution: Find a lot or park in Pleasanton where you can design a place that is meant just for Graffiti artists.
I know it sounds extreme but the fact of the matter is that as Pleasanton is getting bigger and with a new bart station in progress and with more people coming in and out of the town. Itís time that we as a city start to find ways to work with our children and not against them. Graffiti isnít a gang related offence itís a form of art that kids today are finding more and more interesting. So instead of writing them off as vandals if we make a place for them, with the proper rules and regulations it could be a great way to cut down off outside vandalism. Take a look at Venice Beach La, or other cityís that have set up concrete blocks and tubes for people to paint. I am not saying it has to be in a open part of town but at least it would give kids a place in town to artistically express themselves without vandalizing anything.
Posted by resident, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Dec 3, 2008 at 7:53 pm
Nice idea of you Lindsay to post some ideas. While they may or may not work the fact remains that those who live in the area of Village school are subjected to vandalism on a nearly daily basis. The Village school kids walk down First Street and trash yards, homes and fences every day. Look at the pickett fences on First Street that have broken stakes. The Village school kids did that. The answer is immediate and severe punishment, not giving them a place to do their vandalism at will. When those kids all have each and every privilege taken away maybe the peer pressure will stop the damage.
Posted by bel, a resident of the Val Vista neighborhood, on Dec 3, 2008 at 11:08 pm
Sorr but it wouldn't stop it, it would just get more kids wanting to try it who wouldn't normally. We also do not need more polution caused by the aerosols and solvent filled spray paints, and more waste from the discarded cans (not to mention the litter on the ground often all over those sort of places).
The crap I've been seeing around town is FAR less than art, its just some "wanna be" with a paint pen and a can of paint. It definately doesn't need any sort of canvas, concrete or otherwise.
What would work better is if parents actually kept an eye on their kids, and teach them respect early. Those being caught defacing city or private property need to be punished.
Want to be artistic? don't pick up a spray can, get a compressor and learn airbrushing instead. If you get good enough there are people willing to pay for your talents put to use. Its far better than risking arrest only to have your "art" scrubbed off or painted over.
Posted by Jessica, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Dec 4, 2008 at 11:59 am
Lindsay, please do everyone a favor and keep your ludicrous ideas to yourself. Clearly you didn't learn much in high school (if you even call village a HS) if you're suggesting a designated area for graffiti. The two examples you have listed, in terms of graffiti areas, are completely different from Pleasanton.
Posted by Doo Doo, a resident of the Valley Trails neighborhood, on Dec 4, 2008 at 12:46 pm
I would be the first person on board with you Lindsey, if I thought it might help. I like that you are coming with fresh ideas around here, no one else seems to have any realistic ideas. The punishment has to fit the crime. I think its hilarious that people think you can give HARSH penalties for vandalism. It's not a voilent crime or drug realted and for the most part, you will not recieve any jail time. The penalty is a $fine, and/or community service....maybe probation in extreme cases. Some people just don't understand the legal system. They don't realize that if you jail someone for spray painting on a wall...then you HAVE to jail a person that scribbles his name on the back of a school chair. You can't say "oh, thats different"... because its a misdemeanor....same charge.
And now for your thoughts on the artistic view. There is a huge difference between graffiti and tagging. What we have here in Pleasanton are taggers. They don't have an artistic bone in there body. I haven't seen one "piece" of graffiti around town. These kids are taggers, which means they are defacing the property....just for the sake of defacing it. They throw up a "tag" which is a name, number, or something that only a few intended groups of people are suppose to know the meaning. The graffiti artist is what you were referring to should be treated different....there just isn't any here in Pleasanton...
Good Job Lindsay.....keep the ideas coming and don't let these "out of touch people" distract you from trying to help. The problem does get worse over time, and quickly covering the tags are not the answer....
Posted by Julie, a resident of the Vineyard Avenue neighborhood, on Dec 4, 2008 at 1:27 pm
Lindsay you are a mature and thoughtful young woman. Thank you for giving thought to this issue that is a concern to many of us. Your suggestion has merit and should be taken to the Pleasanton Youth Commission.
Posted by resident, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Dec 4, 2008 at 3:09 pm
I have an idea for Lindsay -- let the "artists" paint their "art" on the side of your house. Oh, your parents would not want their Ruby Hills estate to be marked up like that? But they think it is fine to deface somebody elses neighborhood? Get real. No one needs to encourage those low-lifes to spew their trash in this town. I have to agree with Jessica about Village. The thugs who go there trash everything around the school, that school needs to be shut down. And check those backpacks for spray paint, that's probably where most of the "art" originates now.
Posted by Julie, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Dec 4, 2008 at 4:13 pm Julie is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
I find it repugnant that a person would insult Lindsay and the high school she attended simply because she offered what she considered to be a viable solution to a problem. Even she suggests in her post that it's an "extreme" idea. She did not come into this forum attacking anyone. Some of you act like SHE did the graffiti.
Lindsay, I respect you for coming into this forum (with what appears to be a real name) and offering your suggestions. Don't be bothered by the fact that some people who post at this forum have not yet reached your level of maturity or respect.
Posted by resident, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Dec 4, 2008 at 4:37 pm
Julie, of another Pleasanton neighborhood; I have not seen a single post even remotely implying that Lindsay did the grafitti. Her school was not insulted "simply because she offered what she considered to be a viable solution to a problem." Those people who live or work near Village know that the kids who go there are a huge problem. They have been kicked out of normal schools, are unsupervised and undisciplined when not in school and they vandalize the nearby neighborhoods while intimidating anyone who happens to be in the area. Walking anywhere near that school when the kids get out is enough to make you wish you had armed guards to walk with you. This town does not need that school here nor do we need anyone, no matter how well-intentioned, to encourage illegal and destructive behavior. As I said before, Lindsay's parents would surely not want their Ruby Hills estate to be trashed. Why should she think it is OK to encourage trashing other properties.
Maturity and respect are wonderful -- if those kids showed either one this topic would not even be conceived let alone continue to get comments.
Posted by Julie, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Dec 4, 2008 at 5:37 pm Julie is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
resident, I don't care *why* Lindsay's school was insulted. I'll try to make my point more clear for you:
Lindsay: "My name is Lindsay Wright and I am Village High School graduate".
Jessica: "Lindsay, please do everyone a favor and keep your ludicrous ideas to yourself" and "Clearly you didn't learn much in high school (if you even call village a HS)"
That was RUDE. Lindsay posted nothing to warrant such a response. What a poor example for a young person trying to express her ideas.
resident: "Why should she think it is OK to encourage trashing other properties."
Please show me ANYWHERE in Lindsay's post where she directly or indirectly gives the impression that she condones "trashing other properties". The whole point of her post was to offer a solution to the **problem** of graffiti.
No, there is no one accusing Lindsay of doing the graffiti. You missed that point completely.
Posted by Julie, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Dec 4, 2008 at 7:38 pm Julie is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
I'm also curious about something else - if you shut down Village High, where do you suggest all the students go? You want them out on the streets ALL day? You want them shipped off to someone else's town? I agree with Bel that there are other uses for money rather than the park Lindsay suggests. There are reasons why some kids act the way they do.
And by the way, in response to:
"Maturity and respect are wonderful -- if those kids showed either one this topic would not even be conceived let alone continue to get comments."
None of my comments had to do with "those kids", only Lindsay.
Posted by PToWN94566, a resident of another community, on Dec 4, 2008 at 8:35 pm
I think Lindsey and another responders comments are going in the right direction- finding alternative sources for teenagers/high schoolers to express themselves. Graffiti is a form of art whether people like it or not. Maybe the town should put together a graffiti night where artists who like paint this way can gather in a parking lot and spray paint large pieces of wood. I worked at a Boys & Girls Club and they did this; the pieces were then sold at an auction and the money went to local charities. Obviously Pleasanton does have its problems so why not find logical solutions- instead of demonizing people get them off the streets and involved in some other event/activity that promotes positive experiences.
People honestly shouldn't judge Village students and say "if you can even call Village a HS." Village is just as much a high school as Amador or Foothill is. (No I didn't go to Village- AVHS for me0). The crime of students doesn't just happen around the downtown neighborhood near Village. My house is situated off a street where middle and high school students trample up and down every morning and afternoon- street near Harvest Park called Alameda. I've seen kids pick peoples bushes or chunks of grass and throw it in the street. I've seen kids take their trash and liter people's yards or bring their cars in the evenings and do doughnuts in the cul-de-sac at the end of Alameda. Kids are kids and the best thing to do is getting them involved in activities and if you see them destroying something speak up. Call the cops if it is that bad but if it's a flower get over it and tell them to get lost.
Posted by tom, a resident of the Valley Trails neighborhood, on Dec 4, 2008 at 10:30 pm
I can't understand why some people are attacking Lindsay. She is a resposible person offering suggestions about how to stop the "tagging" in Pleasanton. Obviously Jessica hasn't had a child who couldn't keep up with the pressures of high school and needed more "hands on" help. I had four kids go thru Pleasanton schools and one had to go to Village. She is 42 now and to this day still talks about her time at Village and how great the teachers were and how much she learned. She would not have graduated if it wasn't for Village.
Lindsay, don't stop offering ideas. We need all the help we can get.
Posted by Tootsie, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Dec 5, 2008 at 9:35 am
3 Cheers for Lindsay for being brave enough to put her ideas out there. She was offering a possible solution. It was totally unfair for her to be attacked at all.
Give credit to the young woman for trying - it's more than most of the adults that like to sit around and complain and don't lift a finger or volunteer to help out in the schools. Each of our high schools has their issues. If you want to change the process then be PART of the process and VOLUNTEER - in the classroom, after school as a homework helper, at the library - tutor a Village student that needs help learning to read! Your time spent with young adults teaching them right from wrong will go a long way. Lots of the kids haven't had the parent or grandparent with time for them to just talk to them about right and wrong as they sit with them to get homework done.
Volunteer - help out - be a MENTOR - even if it's only 1 hour a week, you can and will make a difference.
Posted by also a mom, a resident of the Castlewood neighborhood, on Dec 5, 2008 at 9:37 am
I have an idea for Village HS. Move it to Ruby Hills and let the kids paint their art on the houses there. They can also pull up plants, break off fences, intimidate residents, all of the things the other posters have mentioned. Once again we have a problem with that solution. Ruby Hills is filled with people who would never tolerate a continuation school in their neighborhood. They would not even tolerate a Livermore address, remember?
Another solution to the taggers would be for their parents to be held responsible for all of the costs associated with the damage. Have the parents and the kids spend every single weekend cleaning up paint from places it does not belong. It all comes back to lack of discipline and lack of parenting. If only a license was required before a person could conceive . . . . .
Posted by Ernie, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Dec 5, 2008 at 10:01 am
Like your charming Castlewood neighborhood would even lift a finger to help - I just love how you insult others yet you live in a glass house. Just like those that live in Ruby Hill - there is NO "S" at the end of that neighborhood - just like it isn't Castlewoods - be part of the solution - don't stir the pot lady.
Posted by Concerned, a resident of the Heritage Oaks neighborhood, on Dec 5, 2008 at 11:15 am
You are a brave a thoughful young lady and it's too bad more high school kids in Pleasanton -- Foothill and Amador included -- don't have your maturity.
Thank you for your ideas and for trying to find a solution to the problem. I agree with those who don't think a specific place for grafitti would work and that may actually increase the problem. For some kids it's all about artisitic expression, but for the majority, it's all about vandalizing. It's not just kids from Village, but they always seemed to get singled out. There are good kids at Village, just like there are pieces of dirt at both Foothill and Amador Valley.
Keep trying to come up with a solution and keep talking to your friends and about what can be done.
Posted by Doo Doo, a resident of the Valley Trails neighborhood, on Dec 5, 2008 at 12:39 pm
I attended the continuation school where I'm from, and I'm curious why there is no school resource officer patrolling the area around Village? Not all day, but lunch time and afternoon times. Does the school acknowledge that this is happening? It sounds like nobody is doing anything around that school. We can't chase taggers around the city at midnight... but this destruction caused by these "village" students sounds preventable...
Posted by no more vandalism, a resident of the Pleasanton Heights neighborhood, on Dec 5, 2008 at 1:03 pm
Good idea Doo Doo but no one from that school cares about what those kids do when they are not on the property. It does not take a rocket scientist to see why no one wants people like that in their neighborhood. If the school cared enough to patrol after hours when the kids leave then the neighbors might not be trying so hard to get rid of the school. There just is never any excuse to vandalize property and if getting that school closed could reduce the vandalism we would all be in favor of it. I don't live near enough to be bothered by kids walking home from school but I avoid downtown at all costs during those times.
Posted by bel, a resident of the Val Vista neighborhood, on Dec 5, 2008 at 1:45 pm
We have been seeing the tags over in val vista a lot, Some jerk painted the stop sign down the street, which is not just ugly but dangerous (fortunately its cleaned off now). Bathrooms in the park were closed due to vandalization (I don't know what they did though, if it was tagging or another type of vandalization, only saw the signs where it was blocked off) It might not be Village kids specifically, could easily be a group out of Foothill or Amador (or more than one group.)
I would like to see whoever it is caught, fined and stuck with some large amount of and possibly embarassing community service (like mowing city lawns, and picking up trash while wearing a sign that says "this idiot got caught defacing property")Something that makes them think twice.
Posted by Me, a resident of the Walnut Hills neighborhood, on Dec 9, 2008 at 10:34 am
It's funny that most of you assume that it's the kids from Village. I did not attend Village but I had a sibling who did and when I visited her school I envied the close relationships those kids had with each other and with the staff. Village High is not like a typical continuation school. I think my sibling is a better person and citizen because of Village's influence.
What do you think all of this criticism is doing to those who currently attend the school? If you tell a boy he's stupid long enough, he'll believe it.
I went to Village and didnít consider myself of thug or a hoodlum. Nor did I carry spray paint in my backpack.
The teachers are caring and nurturing and give each student the attention they deserve. I hope that when my children go to Amador that they get the same AMAZING attention from their teachers. One would only hope for that type of positive environment for their children.
It's unfortunate that a few bad apples spoil the bunch. But it's not just children from Village that vandalize, litter or destroy our town. My teenage neighbors who attend Amador AND their friends leave more trash in the street, beer cans on my lawn and doughnut marks on the road than probably any other kid.
So much distaste for kids that are just being kids. Not saying what they are doing is right but DAMN if you don't like it, do something about it. Stop whining. (thatís what I tell my 4 year old)
Maybe you should spend a day inside a Village classroom...you WILL be impressed.
Posted by Doo Doo, a resident of the Valley Trails neighborhood, on Dec 9, 2008 at 11:15 am
I believe we have to assume its the "Village" students. That school gets out at 1:30pm and the kids are NOT hard to pick out. The other high school students don't make there way downtown until later in the afternoon. And I don't think anyone said the kids are responsible for ALL of the litter and destruction. But they are a major contributing facter. The school has a responsibility in this case. Between the school district and the law, someone should be able to help clean up the area.
And I never bashed Village High School, or the students... but lets not forget that these are kids, that... for one reason or another... got kicked out of the "normal" school system. Their reputations proceed them....
Posted by PMmom, a resident of the Pleasanton Heights neighborhood, on Dec 10, 2008 at 3:43 pm
Wow, the intolerance being spewed from some of the presumed 'adults' in this forum make it evident why so many of the children in this town are the same way with their peers and with other adults. They can't help themselves! It's what they learn at home, god bless them.
Why can't all the kids be accepted for who they are, not what neighborhood they live in or what school they attend....are we assuming Ruby Hill and Village are mutually exclusive too? - I'll bet not. Kids are kids, all trying to find their way. I can't believe 'resident' wanting an Armed Guard for him/herself when in the area - are you kidding me? Why so scared? Apparently you don't get out of town much... If you'd volunteer at the high-school and sit down face to face and meet the actual human beings which you are bashing, you'd be humbled by their struggles and inspired by their perserverance.
Posted by PMmom, a resident of the Pleasanton Heights neighborhood, on Dec 10, 2008 at 4:08 pm
P.S. to my last post...
Would the administration at Village allow a wall in their quad to be used as a canvas for the student body? As the population that appreciates this 'art-form' is in their demographic, they could surround themselves with it and appreciate its expression. It wouldn't stop all around town, as some tagging is done by out-of-towner's too.
Posted by Jessica, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Dec 11, 2008 at 2:54 pm
I think people are missing the point, here. Lindsay's post reads: Way to stop graffiti VANDALIZING.
If Pleasanton were to designate a wall specifically for the "artists" who wish to create beautiful art (although it would never pass), that would be amazing.
HOWEVER, what's going on in Pleasanton is not art, it's tagging, it's defacing Pleasanton Property. Although it's not completely accurate to accuse the Village kids solely, it's as accurate an assumption as we can make.
"lets not forget that these are kids, that... for one reason or another... got kicked out of the "normal" school system. Their reputations proceed them...." Doo Doo wrote this post and I couldn't agree more.
And no one is attacking Lindsay, as some people are saying. My first post, "keep your ludicrous comments to yourself", I stand by that. For the city to create an area specifically meant for defacing property? In Pleasanton? Come on, guys... Think a bit. That would never happen, and no one would even vote for it.
That's like rewarding delinquent teenagers (clearly the ones who are tagging) by giving them MORE room to tag and vandalize and deface our beautiful city.
And although Village IS an accredited school, maybe some of you should check out some of the statistics as far as percentages of Students who drop out, are not eligible for an on track graduation of four years (with the unbelievably low student:teacher ratio of 12:1. Wow!), and how many of those students never obtain a degree in college (even an AA in junior college!)
Posted by Julie, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Dec 11, 2008 at 6:40 pm Julie is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Lindsay: Problem: Our town and our surrounding towns are being vandalized by graffiti artists.
Jessica: I think people are missing the point, here. Lindsay's post reads: Way to stop graffiti VANDALIZING.
Jessica, I think you are missing the point!
I try hard to treat other posters the way I would like to be treated. I would never write "keep your ludicrous ideas to yourself" because I consider that harsh. Perhaps "attack" is too strong, but it's harsh. Why not write something more to the effect of "I disagree with your suggestion"? This is a forum for sharing ideas, I don't think anyone should be asked to keep their ideas to themselves, particularly if they are attempting to share a valid idea. I have seen some people at this site (not this particular forum) who should keep their ideas to themselves because their intent is simply to be rude and hurtful.
Posted by Al, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Dec 19, 2008 at 10:32 pm
Wow, Lindsay, I hope you realize what a great job you did here! You presented a real problem, you presented it politely, you offered a solution, and you initiated a wild dialogue. The dialogue just shows how right you are: there IS a problem. You got people to unload their thoughts, whether logical, fair, kind, OR NOT. Good to give everyone a place to vent. And YOU did that, Lindsey -- by taking the initiative to present your thoughts, providing something for people to respond to. You can see by the strong feelings you provoked that you were right on.
The problem is a tough one, the solutions are hard to identify, and I can see that you are very talented and will go far -- at least judging by how you put your post together, and how you got a hot discussion going.
Congratulations! I bet your skills will serve you well in life, and serve the rest of us well. I predict lots of good things for you in life -- for someone who speaks up to make things better. YES!!
Posted by Brian student at village, a member of the Village High School community, on Feb 17, 2009 at 6:39 pm
"When those kids all have each and every privilege taken away maybe the peer pressure will stop the damage."
I cannot even write how much I resent this statement, and how ridicules it sounds. That would do ABSOLUTELY nothing at all. Once again Village has made a wonderful and smart person, Lindsay I would love to see that happen, how? Lets stop talking and start doing. Great Idea.
Posted by Brian student at village, a member of the Village High School community, on Feb 17, 2009 at 6:43 pm
Also like to add that how would any of you know what children would do?
Do you have kids at village? Do your kids do graffiti art? I highly doubt it. I am a student, I love graffiti, It lets people express themselves, and a large are where we could do it legally would be a fantastic opportunity.
Posted by Doo Doo, a resident of the Valley Trails neighborhood, on Feb 18, 2009 at 1:09 pm
Brian, I was wondering ...can I ask ...how someone is expressing themself while "tagging up" a building? Most of US don't know the slang terms enough to even READ the graffiti? And if thats the case...will your PARENTS let you express yourself on the outside of your own house?